MA Dansereau, E Midavaine, V Begin-Lavallee et al
Departement de Pharmacologie & Physiologie Institut de Pharmacologie Faculte of Medecine et des Sciences de la Sante, Universite de Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
Abstract Background: Pain is reported as the leading cause of disability in the common forms of inflammatory arthritis conditions. Acting as a key player in nociceptive processing, neuroinflammation and neuron-glia communication, the chemokine CCL2/CCR2 axis holds great promise for controlling chronic painful arthritis. Here, we investigated how the CCL2/CCR2 system in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) contributes to the peripheral inflammatory pain sensitization. Methods: Repeated intrathecal ( i.t .) administration of the CCR2 antagonist, INCB3344 was tested for its ability to reverse the nociceptive-related behaviors in the tonic formalin and complete FreundÕs adjuvant (CFA) inflammatory models. We further determined by qPCR the expression of CCL2/CCR2, SP and CGRP in DRG neurons from CFA-treated rats. Using DRG explants, acutely dissociated primary sensory neurons and calcium mobilization assay, we also assessed the release of CCL2 and sensitization of nociceptors. Finally, we examined by immunohistochemistry following nerve ligation the axonal transport of CCL2, SP and CGRP from the sciatic nerve of CFA-treated rats. Results: We first found that CFA-induced paw oedema provoked an increase in CCL2/CCR2 and SP expression in ipsilateral DRGs, which was decreased after INCB3344 treatment. This upregulation in pronociceptive neuromodulators was accompanied by an enhanced nociceptive neuron excitability on days 3 and 10 post-CFA, as revealed by the CCR2-dependent increase in intracellular calcium mobilization following CCL2 stimulation. In DRG explants, we further demonstrated that the release of CCL2 was increased following peripheral inflammation. Finally, the excitation of nociceptors following peripheral inflammation stimulated the anterograde transport of SP at their peripheral nerve terminals. Importantly, blockade of CCR2 reduced sensory neuron excitability by limiting the calcium mobilization and subsequently decreased peripheral transport of SP towards the periphery. Finally, pharmacological inhibition of CCR2 reversed the pronociceptive action of CCL2 in rats receiving formalin injection and significantly reduced the neurogenic inflammation as well as the stimuli-evoked and movement-evoked nociceptive behaviors in CFA-treated rats. Conclusions: Our results provide significant mechanistic insights into the role of CCL2/CCR2 within the DRG in the development of peripheral inflammation, nociceptor sensitization and pain hypersensitivity. We further unveil the therapeutic potential of targeting CCR2 for the treatment of painful inflammatory disorders.
BIOSEB Instruments Used:
Dynamic Weight Bearing 2.0 (BIO-DWB-DUAL)